If you are looking for something different but approachable for your holiday table, VINTJS Arneis is a great wine with personality and the ability to start a conversation. I’ve been a massive fan of Arneis since my first introduction to it at Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon. Since then I’ve been seeking it out and enjoying it when it’s done right. Arneis means “little rascal” due to its difficulty to grow. Arneis can also be a little flabby because it’s not got the highest amount of acid compared to other crisp whites unless it’s grown in the best conditions. If you’ve never had Arneis, imagine taking all the best flavors from Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Viognier and there you have it!
The VINTJS Arneis comes in at 13.3% ABV. I don’t have a lot of information on the wine, but there is only one major planting of Arneis in the Russian River Valley that I know of. This wine has the same 13.3% ABV as the $22 bottle from a major producer using that vineyard. I haven’t had that wine, but I bet you a case, it’s probably the same! I chilled the wine to about 55 degrees, but I think next time I’ll chill it a bit more and use a Corkcicle to hold it. We used standard stemless white wine glasses to taste the wine. The wine is fairly perfumed and gave a melange of fruit and florals when opened. The wine is a pale gold with a hint of a peridot shift.
VINTJS Arneis has a moderately complex and perfumed nose. You can smell ripe succulent stone fruits like nectarines, peaches, and apricots. There is pear, apple, and quince too backed up by minerals and honeysuckle. The only detraction to the nose is you can smell the acidity a bit, but it’s not terribly offputting. The flavor of the wine is quite similar along with green grapes, kiwi, melon, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The finish is long with honeycomb, lemon, minerals, and fresh peach jam flavor. The jam isn’t sweet, it’s just stewed and concentrated. As the wine warms slightly you get white currant and gooseberry as well as an almond note in the finish. The body is luscious, like a Chard or a Viognier, but it’s got the acidity of a brighter wine to make it a very nice drinking experience.
My husband was ready to give this a ” 90 to 93″ because of the complexity, body, and finish. I’d agree with that if the wine didn’t seem as “hot” in the alcohol department. I think that further chilling might solve that problem so I’m going to reserve my judgement until there is a chance to test it again. If it passes the muster, I’ll be getting a case. If this really is a rebranded $22 wine, you’re getting a substantial savings as this is only $9!
CGR readers have you tried VINTJS Arneis? Let me know what you thought!